Amsterdam TI Finance Research Seminars

Richard Sias (The University of Arizona, United States)
Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Recent work suggests that sentiment traders shift from safer to more speculative stocks when sentiment increases. Exploiting these cross-sectional patterns and changes in share ownership, we find, in contrast to theoretical assumptions and common perceptions, that sentiment metrics capture institutional rather than individual investors’ demand shocks. Additional tests suggest a confluence of factors contribute to this relation including institutions’ risk management, herding, momentum trading, reputational concerns, attempting to ride bubbles, preferred habitats, and underlying investors’ flows. If the commonly used sentiment metrics truly capture investor sentiment, then institutional investors are the sentiment traders whose demand shocks drive prices from value. Joint with Luke DeVault and Laura Starks.